Sri Lankan stocks close 0.71-pct up

June 10, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Thursday from institutional and high net worth interest on selected high value and midcap shares, while retail investors continued to chase after midcap and ‘penny stocks’, brokers said. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 4,496.24, up 31.83 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.48 percent (24.64 points) to close at 5,137.37.

Turnover was 2.8 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Brokers said index heavy stocks like Commercial Bank and John Keells Holdings (JKH) were heavily traded.

The ASPI is on the verge of passing the 4,500 point mark, brokers said.

JKH, Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate, closed at 198.25 rupees, up 2.25 with 2.5 million shares changing hands, while Aitken Spence closed at 1,570.00 rupees, up 14.00, Hayleys closed at 304.50 rupees, up 1.50 and Hemas Holdings closed at 160.00 rupees, up 7.00.

Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka’s largest listed bank closed at 279.25 rupees, up 1.25 with over 3.35 million shares traded, while Hatton National Bank closed at 295.00 rupees, up 1.50, Sampath Bank closed at 348.50 rupees, down 1.50 and Seylan Bank closed at 42.25 rupees, up 75 cents.

There was considerable retail interest on ‘penny stocks’, brokers said.

Brokers said 26.16 million Seylan Merchan Bank shares changed hands. It closed at 1.30 rupees, down 20 cents. On Wednesday Seylan Merchant Bank closed at 1.50 rupees, up 20 cents with over 67 million shares traded.

Sierra Cables closed at 2.50 rupees, down 10 cents with nearly 1.4 million shares traded, brokers said.

Foreign investors bought 1,078 million rupees worth of shares Wednesday, and sold 1,507 million, with a net outflow of 429 million rupees, brokers said.

Updated/Corrected ASPI threshold